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Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., so long the victim of feeble plots, emerges in "Union Depot," now playing at the University, as a thoroughly likeable and resourceful young hobo to prove for the first time that the promise he showed in "Dawn Patrol" justified his promotion to stardom. "Union Depot", which, as the name implies, takes as its setting the terminal of a great metropolis, affords him a part for which he is well suited. Doug starts the day with his pal as a well-bearded young vagrant recently released from "the jug". By discovering a travelling salesman's suitcase, which provides him with a clean suit and a "wad", he becomes a gentleman for a day. He meets Joan Blondell, a stage dancer (or chorus girl) who needs sixty dollars to reach her troupe in Salt Lake City and plays "Santa Claus for once in his life", unaware that Dr. Bernard, a fiendish old pervert in love with Joan is following them. Lady Luck further sets the stage when Doug's pal finds a check and draws out an innocent-looking violin case which is full of counterfeit money. With both Dr. Bernard and the counterfeiters on his trail Doug displays his acrobatic inheritance to good advantage in a thrilling dash through and above a switch yard of moving trains. Complications ensue when Joan is arrested for passing some of the bogus cash and the alcoholic pal walks off with the evidence; but the tangle unwinds somehow and everyone is happy.
Suspense is retained until the end in a manner as logical as possible for so improbable a plot. We like the clever and unobtrusive employment of local color, the same condensation of a day of terrific action, and above all the work of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.
"Manhattan Parade" is little more than a vehicle for an endless procession of hilarious incidents, featuring Winnie Lightner, Paramount personality girl, less about forty pounds of her former charms, as the high powered executive of a costume company.
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